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I'm sure you've sat down at your desk with the best intentions of being productive and ticking off more items on your todo list, but somehow you get side-tracked. This is almost a daily occurence with me, as everything suddenly becomes a million times more interesting than what I'm working on(regardless of whether it's a project I enjoy). What's more is that the distractions are the same ones causing me grief, so I've been looking at ways I can actually get some work done without requiring too much work.

  • Google Customised Homepage - This *has* to go. It's the first thing I see whenever I open firefox, and it's full of things I want to read, which in turn usually lead onto related topics. This recursive time-sink will eventually soak up my entire day if I didn't need food/drink/toilet breaks.
  • IM Programs - Setting my status to (Away) or (Busy) seems to do the exact opposite of saying "I can't talk", as instead I get messages such as "What you working on?", "CS? ", "I need help with my work!". The problem here is keeping in touch with people, but at the same time being able to work in peace. If anybody knows of an IM program which integrates with the MSN network and has an answering-machine style functionality but doesn't leave flashing minimized windows at the bottom of my screen, please let me know!
  • Real and OS Desktop Clutter - I'm not sure why, but having a tidy desk makes my head feel tidier, maybe it's all the objects on the desk that my brain finds entertaining, or something else.
  • Music - Some music helps me concentrate, whilst other music does the complete opposite. Heavy music(metal, industrial), just makes me unable to get anywhere near focused on my work, whilst classical, psytrance, light/melodic rock, piano allow me to listen without being too caught up. On the other hand, maybe I should consider not listening to any music at all.

Anyway, I think I've managed to sink enough time writing this, maybe I should get back to reading the dilbert archives and /.
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I feel the same way about the desktop clutter, I don't know why it has such a pronounced psychological effect, but whenever I clean it up I immediately become more productive, even if I just hide all that clutter within a folder named 'clutter', although that's cheating... hehe

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